Image 0 - The Castle of Montebello
Image 1 - The Castle of Montebello
Image 2 - The Castle of Montebello
Image 3 - The Castle of Montebello
Image 4 - The Castle of Montebello
Image 5 - The Castle of Montebello
Image 6 - The Castle of Montebello
Image 7 - The Castle of Montebello

The Castle of Montebello

From 1 to 15 July 2024, access to Montebello Castle from Piazza Collegiata will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. for the Montebello Festival!!!

Opening times 2024

06.11.2023 - 22.03.2024: closed
23.03.2024 - 05.11.2024: from 10:00 to 18:00

During the winter period for the Castles of Montebello and Sasso Corbaro only the external and internal courtyards can be visited.

Bellinzona’s second castle dominates Castelgrande from above on Montebello hill, perched ninety metres above the city.

This is the starting point of the walls that once encircled the ancient hamlet until they encounter those descending San Michele hill. Two sections of these walls, which protected the flanks of the formidable fort, are still standing.

The oldest section dates back to the thirteenth/fourteenth century and is believed to have been erected by the Ruscas, a wealthy family of merchants from Como, who kept it even under the rule of the Visconti. The external courtyards with their towers and the triangular fortress were built between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with their current appearance the result of Sforza construction work during the second half of the fifteenth century.

The castle was previously known as Castel Piccolo (“small castle”) (1457-1472), or Montebello Castle. During the Swiss occupation it was renamed Svitto Castle and after 1818 San Martino Castle.

The Ghiringhelli family acquired it towards the end of the eighteenth century. It was later acquired by the Canton in 1903 for the centennial of Ticino independence and restored.

Inside the Castle, the new Archeologia Montebello exhibition itinerary retraces the history of the medieval manor and the restoration works that characterized it, as well as the main stages that have marked the history of mankind reconstructed thanks to the archaeological finds brought to light in our territory.

Today, above the Prestino, the Ticino Archaeological Association hosts engaging educational activities for schools.

Don’t miss out on the chance to participate in making Castelli di Bellinzona Salami, which is aged right here in the castle!

Outside stop for a leisurely picnic and some healthy fun at our well-equipped playground, or take a photo at the Grand Tour of Switzerland photo spot!

And the view from this castle is absolutely amazing! It can be reached on foot from Piazza Collegiata, from the Nocca neighbourhood, by car on a road that goes from Viale Stazione, on the Artù il Trenino dei Castelli tourist train or on public transport.

Buy your Fortezza Pass directly online
or at the InfoPoint in Bellinzona and visit the three Castles with their walls, the Castelgrande museum, the new Archeologia Montebello exhibition route and the temporary exhibitions.


Accessibility Services

This cultural/tourist point of interest took part in the digital data mapping project on accessibility by Pro Infirmis. The project was carried out with the collaboration and support of Ticino Turismo, the four regional tourist organisations and the Department of Education, Culture and Sport.

All information on the accessibility of the partner in question can be found on the following page.

Partner Ticino Ticket

Thanks to Ticino Ticket you can visit this attraction at a discounted price. Ask the ticket at your hotel, campsite or hostel and find out all the offers you can receive.